But it's done! The top at least. I would do some things differently if I were to do it again. Not so sure I love the degree of difference in the widths of the black borders. Think I should have kept the variation within a narrower scope. Also, maybe would have kept the light blue centers more ordered, less crazy-quilt like. Something I like: the black fabrics I used. I've shied away from using black fabrics in my quilts to date—it always seems to dominate too much. But I think now it's use is more about balance (like everything, I guess). It does provide a nice deep contrast for the deeper blue.
On the quilting front, anyway. Terrible camera phone picture. I often think to myself at this point in a quilt, Oooh! I'm almost done! I can wrap this baby up by the end of the day! This never fails not to be the case. I don't even know where this weird surge of optimism comes from, but it invariably does. I thought it this very morning, as a matter of fact. And now, as we approach early afternoon, with no finish in sight, I think to myself, Everything always takes longer than you ever think it will. Please try harder to remember that.
I need to stop now and try to clean up my studio. The amount of crap on the floor is actually impeding my ability to move back and forth from the wall to the sewing table to the ironing board. I like to make a big mess. Then I like to clean it up. Both are pretty satisfying. But I like to pick when I do either, not be forced into them, as I am right now. Oh well. No denying. Going to start tripping on stuff and like bust a hip or something if I don't. Srsly. Check it out:
We had a terrible thing happen in my neighborhood over the weekend. Two uniformed police officers were murdered while sitting in their parked patrol car. It happened not that far from where we live, in an area I travel through daily while running errands, getting groceries, etc. I am horrified that this has happened and feel heartbroken for the families of those officers.
Last weekend my husband and I attended the Millions March here in NYC. We walked for a couple of hours until my feet were too cold to continue. At both that march, and one I had walked in just after the non-indictment of the officer in Eric Garner's death, there were some marchers chanting slogans I refrained from joining. Any slogans indicting the whole of the police force as racist, or comparing them to the KKK, I was like, nah, no. Not useful.
In any large demonstration there are inevitably going to be folks who join in with their own particular axe to grind. But the more inflammatory rhetoric of some marchers should in no way discount the larger demand being expressed. That there are systemic injustices happening within our criminal justice system that have to be corrected.
Both here, and in Ferguson, those injustices have fallen most obviously along race lines. In Ferguson, one (legitimate) complaint was that the (primarily white) police force didn't reflect the racial make-up of the population that they patrolled. But this isn't the case in NYC. The police officers assigned to oversee the demonstration were as diverse racially as the folks demonstrating. Promoting greater diversity in the Ferguson police force is a valid and worthy goal, but by no means the primary solution to the problem. And not the problem here in NYC.
I think this city is at a fairly critical juncture. There exists the possibility of real and meaningful change on an institutional level. There exists also the very real and equal possibility of a tragic slide backward. There is a momentum behind some of the pretty dramatic changes happening in our civic environment—the decriminalization of pot, the reform of the stop-and-frisk policies, a more critical look at the "broken windows" theory of law enforcement. But there are invariably people who will use a terrible event as an opportunity to inflame prejudice and discord. I really, really hope we can get it together as a city and take a hard and critical look at ourselves. I really, really hope that it doesn't devolve into finger-pointing and hard lines and entrenched positions. I guess we'll see.
I started a new quilt about a week and a half ago. I had been working on a different new quilt, one I intended as a gift to someone. That one is now sitting in pieces on a shelf. I was sort of bored with it, and unconvinced that it was working. It was bumming me out. So I said to myself, well, f*ck it. Start something new you can feel excited about. So that is what I did. The inspiration was this dress I found on Pinterest.
I'm kind of smitten with spiderweb quilts right now. More ideas are percolating.
That media diet I mentioned last week? Yeah, not so much. I didn't
last an entire day off Facebook. I did stay off the Times and New York
Mag websites for a couple of days, at least. And I managed to cut the
near constant stream of NPR to something more like a trickle. Perhaps
it's enough to practice mindfulness with media consumption? I did feel
better after limiting my intake instead of allowing myself to
obsessively "check in" all day. Ah, well. It's a process, I guess.
here is a screen capture of a kind of awesome quilt I noticed while
watching that PBS documentary on the Roosevelts a while back. I'm guessing those are names embroidered on it? Should research that - maybe school mates or something? Hmm.
I think I need to go on a media diet. Maybe for a week and see how I feel. I'm finding myself obsessively clicking on the NYTimes for updates about the Eric Garner protests (I joined the march last night for about an hour. Walking down the middle of Canal Street during rush hour is a weird experience alone, leaving aside the context momentarily) and I am allowing way too much bad news to enter my head space. I just read about the mass exodus at The New Republic, the flawed journalism of the UVA rape story at Rolling Stone, and am feeling despair at the state of all things American. No Times, no Gothamist, no Facebook for a week. A sort of cleanse. Yep.
When I was at City Quilter a couple weeks ago, I popped into the Art Quilt Gallery next door. They currently have a show up of Erin Wilson's quilts. I took a few photos with my iphone until the battery died.
Her work is detailed and extremely precise. The top photo, the grid of 6 squares, each square is like 5 inches by 5 inches. She has some seriously teeny weeny piece work. Her palette is lovely, too. Her fabric is hand-dyed. I've always wanted to be able to work with hand-dyed fabrics—it's always seemed like the only way to really be able to explore complex color relationships. But my home efforts with dye have always been kinda disappointing. And I've never really felt like they could be laundered regularly without issues. Here is a closer version of the above piece (which is 24"x33"):
I can't imagine working with the fabric slivers she uses. Working this way would be a short trip to crazytown for me—my policy is to dispose of any fabric scrap smaller than 2" square. But I think it's lovely that she can make work this way. The show is up until December 13, for anyone in the NY area. Here is one more photo I got before my phone crapped out: